Colouring Glass

This weekend I went back for a second go at glass painting at the Rainbow Glass Studios in Stoke Newington. Last year I did a one day course which showed me basic painting techniques and silver staining – the mainstay of much of the glass painting of previous centuries. Apparently the name stained glass actually refers not to the joining together of pieces of coloured glass, but the silver stain which adds additional yellow and amber glazes to different colours of glass.

This time I was doing a two day course, and so Richard let us loose with the more modern coloured powders used today to literally colour plain or coloured glass once a trace outline has been painted.

We started off with a recap of the same techniques as last time and I produced a rather pretty owl – and even managed not to ‘metal’ my silver stained background.

However, I was also trying to complete two pieces of glass for the small windows in our landing at home – a T and a J for myself and the Scotsman. Mine had sunflowers – mostly because I like them and the Scotsman’s had thistles. I did the designs in a tearing hurry last week – mostly in my lunchbreaks – and would really have liked some time to tidy them up…nothing new there then.

I might have made it to the end of the two designs if I hadn’t realised part way through Sunday afternoon that I had put the J down upside down after its first visit to the kiln and had been gaily painting on the back of it since then!! Cue me wiping all the colour off and starting again…it would have worked after a fashion but wouldn’t have matched the T. I blame the people across the road who had a party on Saturday night and stopped me getting a full night’s sleep…!

Anyway I finished the T and partly painted the J – I go this evening to pick them up and see what they look like. In a similar way to ceramic glazes and transfer dyes you can’t judge the colour until it’s been fired.

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Now I just have to wait for an opportunity to go back to the studios and finish off the J….

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